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Marcos orders the statewide continuation of the e-sabong ops suspension

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An executive order (EO) from President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. mandates the continuous statewide ban of electronic sabong or e-sabong operations.

The state has a “paramount obligation to preserve public health and morals, and to promote public safety and the general welfare,” according to Marcos’ Dec. 28 signing of EO No. 9.

The EO stated that it was important to “reiterate the sustained nationwide suspension of all e-sabong operations, define the extent of current legislation, and direct relevant authorities to pursue active enforcement against illicit e-sabong operations, in accordance with the law.”

The EO prohibits the live streaming or broadcasting of cockfights outside of cockpits, cockfighting arenas, or locations where cockfights are taking place.

No matter where the betting site is located, EO 9 also bans off-cockpit wagering and/or online wagering on live cockfighting events that are streamed or aired.

The suspension shall not apply to traditional cockfights that are conducted in accordance with legislation that has been approved or issued licenses.

The Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was tasked by EO 9 with coordinating the execution of the order with local government units (LGUs), other relevant government agencies, and private companies.

Additionally, it is mandated that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) provide PAGCOR with the necessary support for the implementation of the order and take the proper legal action against those who violate it.

The PAGCOR is also entrusted with regular reporting to the President via the Office of the Executive Secretary in cooperation with the DILG and PNP.

On May 3 of this year, former President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order banning e-sabong, or online cockfighting, in response to the country’s at least 34 missing sabungeros (sabong enthusiasts).

Major e-sabong operators have already ceased operations. However, a few solitary bettors and small groups continue to use the internet-based platform.

In relation to the missing sabungeros, the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has so far brought proceedings against at least 15 different individuals.

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